A Cwmbran teenager is in America training for her first Mixed Martial Arts fight as a professional. Cory McKenna, aged 18, is at Team Alpha Male in California which is run by former UFC fighter Urijah Faber.
Her current record as an amateur/ semi pro is seven fights and seven wins. She returns to Wales later this month for her debut professional fight on the Cage Warriors show in Newport Leisure Centre on Saturday 3 March.
She told Cwmbran Life: “I first decided to try MMA when I was 13 at the BKK gym in Colchester where I spent the next five years developing and improving with the team. I love the different aspect and the fact that there’s always something new to learn.”
“I’m currently training with Team Alpha Male. They have a very successful ‘Train with TAM’ programme where fighters from all over the world come and stay at the fighter house to train.
“I was very fortunate and appreciative. This was a last minute trip and Urijah Faber offered up a free room for me to stay in as the fighter house is extremely popular at the moment.
“I have trialled a few gyms in the past – most of our family holidays have been structured around training. I have trained at Team Alpha Male a couple of times now and really get along well there. There are always numerous girls and small men on the mat for me to work with. Therefore it’s perfect for my fight camps. They are extremely welcoming and really embrace the team spirit.”
Watch Cory in one of her fights
Watch Cory on the pads with Steve Robinson, former world champion boxer
She moved back to Wales in 2017. She said: “Wales is great. I lived here as a little kid and visited regularly with family. I have access to everything I need and there is a very supportive community here. I am very much enjoying being back!
“I moved back roughly six months ago, joining Tillery Combat MMA Academy, and have noticed a massive improvement in my game since. They have a great team of both coaches and fighters. I am very happy to be a part of that.
“I am extremely excited to be fighting on a such a local and high-level show. I have been to the show previously and the support and atmosphere from the crowd is immense. My next opponent is an IMMAF world silver medallist and will be a great challenge.
“I would like to take my career as far as possible, fighting the best fights on the best organisations, challenging myself. I am certainly grateful to Cage Warriors for giving me the opportunity to do just that.”
— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) January 23, 2018